Powered by Blogger

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Latest movies

Somewhat disappointing films lately ~

Contagion - I had been looking forward to this movie, but it was a bit disappointing.  Not quite as much "there" there as all the build up suggested.  The first half is better than the last half - several storylines fizzle out, including the one about the scientist who discovers the virus, the kidnapped WHO agent, and the blogger who manipulates the market to make money (all of these could have been better developed and much more exciting).  There's plenty of great moments, but just as many wasted opportunities. User reviews on imdb.com had similar complaints, and not surprisingly, Suzanne had the same reaction that I did.  Not a bad movie, but could have been so much better - not in the league of Traffic, which it could and should have been.

Autumn Hearts (2008; aka Emotional Arithmetic) - based on a novel (by Matt Cohen) about survivors of a little-known French internment camp (Drancy, which mostly served as a waystation for Auschwitz), with a great cast and gorgeous setting in Canada.  But the ending was sort of odd and even a bit of a head scratcher.  Not a bad movie, but not really satisfying (other imdb reviewers felt the same); it reminded me a bit of Adam Resurrected - a valiant effort but not a perfect movie; in any event, I'm not sorry I saw it, for excellent performances and a history lesson.

Brush with Fate (2003) -  A Hallmark movie, also adapted from a novel (by Susan Vreeland) which tells the stories of several owners of a beautiful lost Vermeer painting (Girl in Hyacinth Blue) across several centuries.  The stories are interesting and well done, but I wonder if the filmmakers realize how misogynistic it seems - we have a woman who feeds her family the seed potatoes, virtually destroying the family farm, then a woman who encourages her nephew to abandon his pregnant girlfriend to protect the family's name, and finally a woman who kills her newborn baby daughter, and then of course there's Cordelia, the character played by Glenn Close; it's like a tour of evil female stereotypes. I think they're trying to say that the painting brings out the best and the worst in people, and depicts what they were willing to sacrifice for the painting (though I would argue that most of the characters' behavior was really independent of their feelings for the painting, except Cordelia, of course, and maybe the farmer's wife).  It wasn't a bad movie, but  I got pretty fed-up with the way women were portrayed, and I think it ruined otherwise fascinating historical fiction.  



Post a Comment

<< Home